Three Albums That Changed My Life: High Tension

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is just around the corner, and whilst the festival has become known for its ability to pick the creme de la creme when it comes to indie bands, the festival has been delving into different genres over the past few years. Seeing a stronger inclusion of electronica, hip-hop and more, the festival is quickly becoming one of – if not the – best festival in the country, and this year’s lineup only reaffirms this reputation.

Leading the charge this year in the heavy rock arena is Melbourne outfit High Tension. Known for their in-your-face, all out thrash rock, the band have rapidly become one of the most exciting acts to break through over the past years, and for very good reason. Describing themselves as “aiming high, punching low”, their reputation precedes them as one of the best live acts in the country and their album Bully was one of the most underrated records of the year in 2015. The band were also nominated for the 2014 ARIA awards ‘Best Hard Rock Album’ thanks to their debut record, Death Beat so, you know, they’re pretty fucking good.

Before they truly break through (and trust us, they will), we asked drummer Lauren Hammel which three albums changed her life, and the results are typically as cool and badass as you’d expect from a band like this. Check her answers below and jump on any remaining Laneway tickets (dates below)!

Fugazi, Repeater

This album was given to me on cassette by an older kid at my local skatepark when I was around 13. It was the first time I heard anything like it, or even considered that music like it could exist. I can still listen to this record 17 years later, front to back and get stoked which, in my eyes, is a testament to it’s timelessness. I’ve always been a sucker for catchy riffs, tied in with the old hardcore sound, and they nail it, every time.

Bikini Kill, Revolution Girl Style Now

I remember hearing this as a young teenager, 13 or 14. I didn’t own the record until I was in my 20’s but I held onto those songs all through growing up. It was my first introduction to Riot Grrrl, not just the music but the movement; the politics, feminism, values and ethics. The way these women demanded space in a scene where no room was made for them. The lyrics to Suck My Left One floored me and Kathleen Hanna’s ruthlessness and brutality, not only in content but delivery is something that I’ll never get sick of hearing.

Propagandhi, Less Talk More Rock

Another record from my teenage years, I would have heard this around the same time I was hearing Fugazi. I found Propagandhi by visiting small town, second hand music stores and reading the thank you lists of CDs in the ‘punk’ section. Propagandhi are one of those bands that have eternally solid and consistent politics while being able to honestly talk about global issues like war, poverty, racism and animal welfare. They are, and always have been, so far removed from typical white dude punk; taking accountability, moving away from individualising world issues and communicating that with sounds young people can relate to. Also, the coloured pressing was limited to 666 copies on root beer coloured vinyl – ripper.


St Jerome’s Laneway Festival dates:

Friday 5 February – Harts Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Saturday 6 February – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)
Sunday 7 February – Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
Saturday 13 February – Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Sunday 14 February – Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle


Tickets here